Every time we start to think we’ve overcome censorship in America, it comes raging back again. Censorship in America, especially when it comes to alternative health information, is getting out of hand.
But, it used to be the religious right that wanted to censor teaching children about evolution in schools (because it conflicted with the idea that God created the universe) and wanted to censor sex education (because they believed it might lead to promiscuity and premarital sex). Then there were the authoritarian governments, like Saudi Arabia, a country that actively censors access to information and has media restrictions written into their bylaws.
That’s no longer true. We’re now seeing active censorship coming from those who identify as liberals or leftists, many of whom also happen to be technocrats who are actually also using their platforms in myriad invasive and privacy scorching ways, mostly to sell us things we don’t need. To make matters worse, the new censors are pretending to be justices of “truth,” “real news,” and proper information.
These days it is people who consider themselves progressives who are the most vocal and active champions of censorship. It’s strange to think of progressives and liberals calling for censorship, but that’s what’s happening. Those in control over information dissemination—running the technological platforms we rely on every day for communication and information, including Facebook, Mailchimp, YouTube—are aggressively limiting access to any information that doesn’t fit inside the mainstream. Free speech apparently doesn’t apply to online forums.
As one commentator stated, in a time of significant worry over the loss of personal freedoms, “The most chilling suggestion, however, comes from the politicians and academics who have called for the censorship of social media and the internet. The only thing spreading faster than the coronavirus has been censorship and the loud calls for more restrictions on free speech.”
So why is it now those on the left leading the charge to censor information?
A look at censorship in America
Let’s be clear. Our current administration is no champion of civil rights. President Trump defies legal standards, has weilded the power of the justice department for political gains and incited violence against the media exercising its badly needed First Amendment rights.
But Trump also issued a decree against the political left’s misguided attempts to censor social media.
The ongoing boycott of Facebook over its hypocritical approach to censorship incited a massive protest joined by global corporations. While the intent is good, if it leads to more censorship, we’re going in the wrong direction.
I’m a science journalist, book author, and one of nine volunteers who run a health and wellness page called Your Baby, Your Way on Facebook. Our page has over 42,000 followers and reaches upwards of 500,000 people on a good week. The goal of the page is to share news and information to help people make informed choices about children’s health.
We have a decidedly natural slant: We want to empower families to meet their breastfeeding goals, encourage healthy eating, and give parents the most up-to-date peer-reviewed science so they can make the most informed decisions.
At Your Baby, Your Way, we aren’t afraid of controversial subjects. We post regularly about vaccine safety, glyphosate and other environmental toxins, and the harms of baby Tylenol. We also write about the benefits of home birth, gentle parenting, and leaving babies intact.
We believe that information like this is useful, even for those who don’t agree with it. Especially for those who don’t agree.
Well, Facebook—a prime driver of censorship in America—doesn’t agree.
Despite the page’s popularity and usefulness, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the page on Facebook. It’s “cloaked” now, and our reach has been intentionally squashed by Facebook, a company that has repeatedly announced it will crack down on alternative health information, as well as on information others have deemed “fake.”
A reader of my website once tried to repost a science-backed story I wrote on Medium, a platform designed for substantive discourse. The platform is designed for thoughtful resourcing of information and long-form storytelling. But this story, which was sharing the research of a Yale-educated immunologist, was rejected by the Medium censors.
Censorship in America: a “religious” left?
Like Medium, Facebook has decided, apparently, that only one source of medical information is “reliable” and “accurate”: government-sanctioned medical organizations.
But there’s the rub. What does reliable mean? Who defines what’s accurate? How do we separate fact from fiction when it comes to our children’s health and wellbeing? And do we want to leave the answers to these questions and the decisions about our children’s health to Facebook, a for-profit company run by a multi-billionaire who’s 36 years old?
The answer is a resounding no.
Why not? Because the status quo medical establishment is failing our children.
In fact, this is where America’s mainstream health establishment has led us:
- We have one of the highest maternal mortality rates of any country in the industrialized world.
- We have a rate of at least 1 in 54 children with autism, which carries a life expectancy of only 36 years. Experts suspect the actual rates of autism, encephalitis, and encephalopathy are even higher.
- We have a falling life expectancy rate, one that declined for three years in a row.
- And we live in a country where 54 percent of children today suffer from chronic disease.
Those who defend this failing status quo medical system use talking points that are often generated by the pharmaceutical industry and other businesses that profit tremendously from it. What they call “medical misinformation” we call “medical missing information.”
When you do happen upon our Your Baby, Your Way Facebook page, it comes with a warning label, urging you to go to the World Health Organization for information about vaccines.
Is the WHO a reliable source of information?
Medium, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Wikipedia, and other media sites—including newspapers like USA Today and the New York Times—are actively and relentlessly censoring scientific information and opinion pieces from medical doctors, researchers, and parents that contradicts or nuances status quo medicine, as well as other topics.
Instead, Facebook refers my readers to the World Health Organization as a reliable and unbiased source of information.
The WHO is a questionable source of reliable information at best. An in-depth investigation by the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a non-profit organization committed to upholding ethical standards in medicine, reveals that the WHO has an unfortunate history of letting corruption and politics overshadow their role as the gatekeepers of public health.
According to the AHRP, where I am a member of the Board of Directors:
“The World Health Organization provides public health recommendations about the use of pharmacologic drugs and vaccines and provides guidelines and assistance in public health emergencies. When it was founded in 1948, the WHO relied on funding from its member states; their contributions were assessed based on their national income and population. The funds were not earmarked for any particular policy. In those days, the WHO was an independent organization. But over time, the WHO leadership traded its independence and with it, its integrity, for big money.”
The influence of the Gates Foundation
Speaking of big money influences, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the second biggest funder of the WHO, giving more money to the WHO than any country in the world besides the United States.
Mark Zuckerberg is the fourth richest person in the world, according to Business Insider. Bill Gates is the second, according to Forbes. But a multi-billionaire like Bill Gates is a businessman whose specialty is computer viruses not corona viruses, and yet Gates wields vastly more influence over the WHO than the hundreds of scientists and medical doctors who have been sounding a note of caution about COVID-19, pointing out that it may not be possible to create a safe vaccine against it.
According to David Nabarro, a professor of global health at Imperial College in London, who is also a special envoy to the World Health Organization on Covid-19:
“There are some viruses that we still do not have vaccines against. We can’t make an absolute assumption that a vaccine will appear at all, or if it does appear, whether it will pass all the tests of efficacy and safety.”
William Haseltine, an American scientist who has worked in cancer research and on AIDS, agrees. As reported by NBC News:
“Haseltine cautioned that vaccines developed for other types of coronavirus in the past failed to protect mucous membranes in the nose, where the virus typically enters the body. And while tests of some experimental COVID-19 vaccines on animals were able to reduce the viral load in organs like the lungs, the infections remained.”
The early human trials have yielded concerning results. One participant reported feeling sicker than he’s ever been after the second dose of the trial vaccine. He was one of three participants who suffered severe “systemic adverse reaction[s].”
Trials in primates have yielded confusing and unclear results. The Oxford University vaccine trial was a stunning failure, unable to protect even a single rhesus macaque monkey from getting infected with coronavirus. In light of all this, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier has warned the public that a safe and effective vaccine is most likely not possible before the end of this year.
At the same time, Bill Gates has insisted we need 7 billion doses of this still non-existent vaccine before the COVID-19 crisis can end and we can come out of lockdown. If that isn’t unicorn chasing and fake news, I’m not sure what is.
Gates invests heavily in the vaccine industry.
He also funds circumcision campaigns in Africa, in spite of the lack of credible science showing circumcising adult men is beneficial. In fact, medical organizations around the world have come out with statements against circumcision (you can find links to over a dozen at Doctors Opposing Circumcision). Botched circumcision is the tragic cause of acute complications, suffering, painful erections, and even penile amputation, and death for thousands of boys and men around the world, including in the United States, each year.
Interestingly, one of the main issues Facebook is concerned about is accurate information about vaccines, vaccine safety, and safe vaccination. Yet, as the AHRP points out in another article, WHO scientists themselves recently admitted there is a gross lack of vaccine safety science behind decision-making.
This is what censorship in America looks like, where technocrat multi-billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates wield influence over what is “correct” information and what isn’t.
Progressives who should be fighting censorship of all forms are instead championing the efforts to silence healthy debates about hot button topics because of their liberal (and uninformed) bias against “anti-vaxxers.” (As I’ve said before, when you see the words “anti-vaxxers,” know that the journalist or politician has misspelled “vaccine safety advocates.”)
Don’t let the censors think for you
Censorship has no place in a free and open society. The courts have already ruled that elected officials may not block critics on social media (though they continue to do so anyway, in violation of federal law).
Free speech is a core value in the United States, which includes allowing people with unpopular views to speak as well.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” these thought leaders argue in an open letter published in Harper’s magazine that has garnered both international praise and condemnation. The letter continues:
While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.”
The First Amendment to the Constitution protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Status quo health apologists and politicians pressuring Big Tech to crack down on views they disagree with seem to have forgotten America’s core values. That’s why it’s up to us to rise above the monoliths of Google, Facebook, and other censorship-friendly on-line media.
Politicians and others used to admonish their followers to be honest, open, and available to the press: “Don’t pick a fight with the people who buy ink by the barrel” is how the saying goes.
The good news is that in today’s age we can all buy the “ink” for ourselves. Citizen journalism is thriving. Websites like mine, as well as this one, this one, and this one, despite the Google search engine downgrades, are thriving too. Newsletters allow subscribers direct access to the information. I recommend you switch to DuckDuckGo, connect with me on Sphir where your information is protected, join Parler, which is a new social media site that has an anti-censorship slant built into its mission statement, and also sign up for my emails.
Let’s agree to disagree, do our own research, respect each other’s differences, stay connected, and stay in the conversation. It’s why I’m actively encouraging readers from all sides of these issues to subscribe to my newsletter and join the respectful, uncensored, fact-based conversation on many important issues that impact us today.
We can beat the bots and stand up against censorship. We just have to fight censorship and champion freedom of speech and freedom of the press together.
Published: July 21, 2020
Last update: July 22, 2020